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Around the NPB Horn: News and Notes from 9/12/2009 @ 3:48pm

by on Sep.12, 2009 @ 3:48 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...Kodai Sakurai could join the team on the 15th (just in time for the Giants series).  During practice on the 11th, Sakurai ran a number of 50-meter dashes without much problem.  He also took 82 swing of the bat during BP and hit 18 over the fence.

Said Sakura, "It doesn't hurt much when I swing.  Running-wise, I pushed a bit harder today and didn't feel any pain.  Now I need to start working on things like coming to a full stop after running full speed... I need to work on movements that I rely on while playing baseball."

...Craig Brazell is currently working on making a return on the 17th.  He spent time playing catch and ran a couple of 40-meter dashes on the 11th.  It was also the first time he practiced outside since going down with a hamstring injury.

...Kyuji Fujikawa hit 154km/h on the radar gun in a game against the Yokohama Bay Stars on Friday night (a season high).

...On the same night Hiroki Kokubo slides headfirst into first and hurts his left thumb, Yuya Nohara does the same gets a headline of praise:

阪神・野原祐、魅せたヘッドデビュー!

Hanshin Yuya Nohara, an appealing head-sliding debut!

"魅せた" is actually a little difficult to translate because it carries multiple meanings, but I think "appealing" is a fairly good word to use in this case.

I find it interesting how head-sliding in Japan is another way to show the fans how hard you're trying.

Rakuten Eagles

...Teppei has a slight 5 o'clock shadow and he just got a little ribbing from the TV announcers.

BTW: Katsuya Nomura has a team rule barring any players from growing facial hair.

Seibu Lions

...The Lions started selling "GO CLIMAX" merchandise on the 8th during the Nippon Ham Fighters series at Seibu Dome.  The new merchandise includes a flag and a wrist band (the same one players are also wearing).

Since the Lions began selling these two items, the team has won 4 consecutive games.